A few years ago while Natalie was visiting a coffee farm in Laos, a tourist asked the farmer, “What is the best way to brew coffee?” The farmers reply stuck with her, and we couldn’t agree more. He answered, “It’s a personal preference. That’s like asking, ‘Who is the most beautiful woman?’ Your opinion is probably not going to be the same as the guy next to you.”
With that in mind, it is our intent to give you some guidelines for brewing and assist you with finding the method that suits you best. Feel free to tweak ratios and play with the various methods to make your perfect cup.
There are a few key things that will affect your coffee no matter the brewing method.
FRESH COFFEE - Be sure to buy freshly roasted coffee beans. Coffee is like any other perishable product and will lose freshness over time and become stale. Ideally you should consume your coffee 3 - 21 days after it’s roasted.
GRIND - If you can, invest in a good conical burr grinder. This will ensure an even grind and increase consistency. It will also allow you to adjust the coarseness of the grind which will vary depending on your brewing method. Additionally, grind your beans just before you brew. This is important because coffee begins to go stale as soon as it’s ground.
PURIFIED WATER - Your coffee is 98% water and if the water has a flavor it can greatly affect the taste of your coffee. It’s also important to use water that’s not quite boiling; 195-205 deg F is ideal. Boiling water can scorch the grounds, bring out the bitterness and affect the flavor. If you don't have a thermometer, bring your water to a boil, then let it rest for about 30 seconds before you use.
RATIOS - We prefer to brew our coffee with this ratio of 1:17 // coffee:water, meaning 1 part coffee to 17 parts water. If you don’t have a scale, a TBSP is about 6g of coffee. Note, there are 28 grams in 1 ounce. Play with your ratio to find a balance that suits your tastes!
PREP Place filter pre-wet by pouring hot water over the filter, fully saturating to remove any particulates and warm the vessel. Discard water from vessel.
GRIND 24g (~6 tbsp) of coffee on medium-fine (kosher salt). Add grinds to the pre-wet filter and give a gentle shake so the bed is even.
BREW Start pouring in the center, making a circular motion and slowly working your way outward then back inward in a spiral. Avoid pouring water onto the filter as this just shoots through the sides and does not extract the coffee. Try and maintain a slow and steady stream for even extraction, when you finish brewing you want the bed of coffee leftover to be flat. Pour just enough water to cover the coffee entirely, about 2x more water then coffee (~50g/2oz), making sure to wet all grounds. Start your timer and allow coffee to “bloom” for about 30-40 seconds.
After 30 seconds, you can begin slowly pouring in the remaining water, making three separate pours. Pour to 150g (~5oz) of water on your first pour, then allow the slurry to fall until 1 minute. Then pour to 260g (~9oz) and allow to fall until 2 minutes. Your final pour will be to 350-370g (~12-13oz) and should finish brewing at 3 minutes. If the brew is too fast, consider using a finer grind or a slower pour rate next time. If the brew is too slow, consider using a coarser grind or a faster pour rate.
PREP Make sure your AeroPress is clean and dry before using. Place the filter inside the cap and rinse with hot water. Discard water.
GRIND Weigh out 18g of whole bean coffee (~3 tbsp) and grind it on a setting slightly finer than medium (sea salt consistency).
ASSEMBLE your AeroPress in the “inverted” position with the cap off. Pour your ground coffee into the AeroPress chamber and gently shake it back and forth to settle the grounds. Be careful that you do not get any grounds on the top where the cap will twist and seal, as this will prevent it from sealing and you will have a coffee explosion mess when you tip to press!
BREW Start your timer and pour about 2x more water than coffee evenly over the grounds. (~36g/1oz) Allow coffee to “bloom” for 45 seconds. After 45 seconds fill the Aeropress with water to the number 4 (~240g/8.5oz).
STIR gently for 5 seconds with a wooden or plastic utensil, then attach the cap (with filter) securely to the top of the chamber. At the 1:30 minute mark, carefully (with precision and skill like the badass coffee brewer you are) flip the AeroPress over onto the top of your mug.
PRESS the plunger down slowly but steadily for about 20 seconds until you hear a hissing sound - that’s air escaping from the chamber. Remove the cap and discard the grounds and filter.
PREP Place the filter it in your Chemex ensuring that the triple-fold portion is facing the pour spout and lays across without obstructing it. Pour hot water over the filter, fully saturating to remove any particulates and warm the vessel. Discard this water through the pour spout.
GRIND the coffee to a slightly finer than medium (sea salt consistency). Use a ratio of 42g (~7 tbsp) of coffee to 700g (~25 oz) of water; adjust according taste or if you have a different size Chemex. Add grinds into the pre-wet filter and give it a gentle shake to flatten the bed.
BREW Start pouring in the center, making a circular motion and slowly working your way outward then back inward in a spiral. Avoid pouring water onto the filter as this just shoots through the sides and does not extract the coffee. Pour just enough water to cover the coffee entirely, about 2x more water then coffee (~100g/3.5 oz) making sure to wet all the grounds. Start your timer and allow coffee to “bloom” for 45-55 seconds. After 45 seconds you can begin slowly pouring in the remaining water, making three separate pours of 200g (~7oz) and allowing the water to drip through the grounds until the slurry drops 1 inch from the bottom of the filter and then repeat until it finishes brewing at 3.5-4.5 minutes. Try and maintain a slow and steady stream for even extraction, when you finish brewing you want the bed of coffee leftover to be flat.
If the brew is too fast, consider using a finer grind or a slower pour rate next time. If the brew is too slow, consider using a coarser grind or a faster pour rate.
PREP Warm up your empty French Press by rinsing it with very hot water. This helps
maintain the temperature while brewing for best extraction.
GRIND Weigh out 56g (~9 tbsp) of coffee and grind on a coarse setting (breadcrumbs consistency). Discard the hot water and add coffee into the empty press.
BREW Start timer and fill press up halfway making sure to saturate all the grounds so there are no dry spots.
STIR When the timer reaches 1 minute stir the grounds with a wooden or plastic utensil.
Fill the press to the top (~950g/34oz) with water, and secure the lid without pressing the plunger down.
PLUNGE At 4 minutes, press the plunger all the way down. Serve the coffee from the vessel immediately, so it doesn't continue extracting.